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Kadir: There are reasons for Najib to fear Muhyiddin

 | December 3, 2015

Fear-stricken party President Najib Abdul Razak and his supporters will be risking it all if they kick at the stump that Umno Deputy President Muhyiddin Yassin has become in the party and politics.


KUALA LUMPUR: A veteran newsman, who disclosed in his latest blog posting that he has known Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak since 1977 and his sacked Deputy Prime Minister and Umno Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin since the 80s, said that he had never seen the former so stricken by fear and the latter so feared. “Muhyiddin, as a character and personality, is not the kind of person that likes to project himself to be in the front. Generally, he’s not the critical and firm type.”

“In many matters, he can be seen playing second fiddle.”

However, what’s astounding is that the top Umno leadership and Najib himself, is living in fear these days of Muhyiddin. “Probably, Muhyiddin himself hasn’t been able to gauge and understand at this stage the extent to which he’s feared, all of a sudden, by the top Umno leadership led by Najib.”

Former New Straits Times Group Editor-in-Chief Kadir Jasin, touching on Najib’s character, said the Prime Minister has always been the sort that likes to “play safe”. “If he fears Muhyiddin all of a sudden, it’s not because the Umno Deputy President is strong but more because Najib is in a weak position.”

“Najib, throughout his political life, was led and protected by previous Prime Ministers like Hussein Onn, his maternal uncle and Mahathir Mohamad, former Finance Minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and former Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Anwar Ibrahim. “So, he could always play the smooth operator.”

There are parallels between Najib and Muhyiddin, said Kadir. “Both, like the majority in Umno now, are not players on the political chessboard. They lack charisma and don’t have the ‘killer instinct’.”

“They are certainly not in the same category as Harun Idris, Ghazalie Shafie, Syed Jaafar Albar, Mahathir, Anwar and Sanusi Junid. All of them are mahaguru in politics.”

Under normal circumstances, said Kadir, Muhyiddin and Najib are equally strong and equally weak. “But under the present circumstances, Najib is the weaker.”

“So, he feels that he needs protection in the form of the top Umno leadership and the government machinery to face Muhyiddin.”

Kadir was commenting on continuing speculation on Muhyiddin being denied the opportunity, as party tradition held, from addressing the Wanita, Youth and Puteri wings during their annual general meetings on December 8 and probably denied the chance to give the closing speech at the Annual General Assembly. “We don’t have to ask any experts on this.”

“It’s simple. Muhyiddin has legitimate questions for the party leadership. These are on issues which have been hidden from the members and the people for so long.

Muhyiddin, he ventured, should use avenues outside Umno to keep up the momentum. “In these days of information and communication technology, there are so many ways for him to get his message across to the party members and the people.”

“He cannot remain just a stump in Umno. He will come under public attention and scrutiny when he’s on stage during the Umno General Assembly. Every movement of his including body language will be watched. Najib and his people can only kick the stump that he (Muhyiddin) has become at their risk.”

Najib, reiterated Kadir, is afraid that Muhyiddin will dredge up the 1MDB scandal, the RM2.6 billion political “donation” controversy, SRC International, and the sackings and transfers of investigating officers. “So far Najib has been giving party leaders and members closed door briefings in the confidence that these will be accepted and the matters will be laid to rest.”

However, said Kadir, the fact that Muhyiddin continues to question these issues does not inspire confidence in the party leadership. “Najib and his supporters live in fear that they will be shamed before the party members and the people. They fear that Muhyiddin will get a standing ovation while they will be greeted with cynicism and the like.”

There might even be demonstrations outside the venue of the party meet, cautioned Kadir.


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